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Cardenas: Those who do not come to this Congress will lose a lot


Cardenas: Those who do not come to this Congress will lose a lot

Skal International World President Annette Cardenas, who was hosted in Izmir before the 83rd World Congress of the International Skal Club to be held in Izmir in October, said, “I thought I knew Turkey, but when I saw Izmir, I realized that I did not know it enough.” Stating that they will strive to introduce Izmir, where the congress will be held, to the world, Cardenas said, “Those who do not come to this congress will lose a lot.”

Skal International World President Annette Cardenas, who came to Izmir for an inspection visit before the 83rd World Congress to be held between 16-21 October 2024, met with journalists at the press conference organized by Skal Club Izmir Branch President Güner Güney. Skal World Club past president Hülya Aslantaş, Turkish Skal Federation Vice President Emre Gezgin, Skal İzmir Club Board members Bülent Tercan, Mine Güneş Kaya and Elif Akşahin and Swissôtel Büyük Efes İzmir General Manager Rıza Elibol attended the meeting held at Swissôtel Büyük Efes İzmir. .

Experience sharing will introduce Izmir

Izmir Skal Club President Güner Güney pointed out that the Skal World Congress to be held in Izmir is a great chance for the promotion of the city and our country. Stating that there was an increase of around 30 percent in the number of foreign tourists and investors in the cities where the World Congress was held in a very short time, Güney said, “One year after the congress, there is literally a multiplier effect. “We think that the experience sharing of the congress participants will have the same effect on the promotion of Izmir,” he said.

Aslantaş: Izmir is a well-hidden treasure

Tourism professional Hülya Aslantaş, who served as Skal International World President between 2008-2009, said that the congress to be held in Izmir in October will be the fourth congress to be held in Turkey. “Bringing the congress to Izmir in 2024 was very valuable and important,” said Aslantaş and continued his words as follows:

“Izmir is actually a well-hidden treasure that the world has not yet recognized. This congress will have a great impact on the promotion of the city. We experienced this at the Istanbul congress. After the Istanbul congress, we saw the benefits of recognition and sharing of experiences. Skal has approximately 700 members in Turkey. Common in 15 locations. Izmir Skal Club, everyone is working together to make the Skal World Congress successful. “I was very impressed by the work our friends in Izmir did for the congress.”

Swissôtel Büyük Efes Izmir General Manager Rıza Elibol said that it was an honor for Skal to hold its 83rd congress in Izmir. Elibol said, “It is especially important that Skal eliminates candidates from many countries in the world and wins the congress in Izmir. Among the 500 participants, there are many agencies and mass tourism managers. “We are happy to host this congress,” he shared his views.

Cardenas: Those who do not come to this congress will lose a lot

Skal International Dünya Başkanı Annette Cardenas
Skal International World President Annette Cardenas

Skal International’s World President Annette Cardenas said that she was very impressed by Izmir, where she came to inspect the event areas and venues of the world congress to be held in October. “I thought I knew Turkey, but when I saw Izmir, I realized I didn’t know it enough,” said Cardenas, a Panamanian tourism professional, and continued his words as follows:

“Since I arrived, I have been very impressed with the places we have seen here, the meeting venues, the service quality, and the hotel services. All five stars. You have excellent opportunities. I made this inspection trip with surprise. It is very important that the congress is being held in Izmir on the 90th anniversary of Skal International. I want the participation in the congress to be very high and for Skal member tourism professionals from various countries to get to know Izmir. We will strive together to introduce this congress to the world. Those who do not come to this congress will lose a lot.”

Cardenas’ admiration for Ataturk

Annette Cardenas, who came to Izmir on May 19, 2024 for an inspection trip, said that she witnessed the enthusiasm of the Commemoration of Atatürk and Youth Sports Day celebrations. “I watched with admiration that you are devoted to Atatürk with great enthusiasm, even though 86 years have passed since his death,” said Cardenas, stating that he was also an Atatürk fan and said:

“I’m very impressed that people carry it on their chest at all times. I would really like to express my admiration for you on this matter. I hope Skal members will keep this love and devotion alive for another 90 years. I am reading a book about Atatürk, who made me experience this devotion and enthusiasm. The more I read, the more I admire it. “You need to explain this energy and dynamism to people.”

Skal World President Annette Cardenas said that during the inspection tour, they visited the places to be visited during the congress, the House of Virgin Mary, Ephesus, Agora ruins and Kemeraltı, with the members of the Skal Izmir Club Board of Directors. Cardenas said, “It was very surprising to see Ayşa Restaurant, which is run by a woman and has a Michelin star, while walking around the historical bazaar, especially in Kemeraltı.”

Stating that he will share the videos he took during the trip and his experiences on Skal’s website and social media accounts, Cardenas stated that one of the moments that impressed him was the History Museum he saw in the Izmir Chamber of Commerce. Annette Cardenas said, “Izmir is a surprising city where you can tour 8,500 years of history in one day.”

Stating that Izmir Skal Club members love their city wholeheartedly, Annette Cardenas emphasized that the congress is a very important organization for both Izmir and Turkey. Stating that he is also a tourism professional and has been managing a 17-storey hotel in Panama since 1975, Cardenas expressed the following opinions:

“We need to look at this issue beyond the economic and social benefits it will bring. This is also an important event for the promotion of the country. You will see its effect not immediately, but more in the long run after the congress is over. Because as the people who come share their experiences and tell each other, the beauties of Izmir will be heard more. “We will carry Izmir to the world and introduce Turkish culture and gastronomy.”

“You need to change your strategy”

Annette Cardenas said that when people think of Turkey, they mostly remember Istanbul, Bosphorus and Galataport, adding: “However, there are incredibly beautiful places in Izmir. “Having Kemeraltı and Agora in the middle of the city is the richness you offer on the plate of this tourism diversity,” he said. Pointing out that the understanding of tourism in the world has changed after the Covid pandemic, Cardenas said, “If there is a decline in Izmir tourism, you need to change your strategy, highlight the cultural values ​​of Izmir and make your voice heard more. There is culture here as well as sea, sun and sand. “You can do 3S tourism anywhere,” he added.

Traveler: The Congress addresses 98 countries

Speaking at the press conference, Turkish Skal Federation Vice President Emre Gezgin said that the Skal World Congress is not an ordinary congress. Emphasizing that it is an event of international importance since the participants have been decision-makers since 1934 and appealed to 98 countries, Gezgin continued his words as follows:

“Those who will come to the congress will meet with members who adopt the principles of sustainability in the tourism sector and follow the developments in the sector most closely. Skal Izmir Club has accomplished a very important job. In tourism, Türkiye without Izmir and Izmir without Turkey are unthinkable. “We will be very happy to meet tourism professionals at the World Tourism Congress in Izmir.”

Tercan: We say ‘Hold our hand’

Skal Izmir Club Board Member Bülent Tercan pointed out that while Izmir’s share from tourism was around 10 percent for many years, it has now fallen to 4 percent. Tercan said, “This year, Türkiye expects 60 million income from tourism and targets 60 million tourists. This congress is extremely important. While we introduce our city and our country to the outside world with the congress, we also say ‘hold our hand’ to the inside. “Let’s not wait, it’s time to take action,” he said.

Skal International World Congress will start with the opening ceremony to be held at Ahmed Adnan Saygun Art Center on October 16, 2024. During the five-day event, tours of Alaçatı, Çeşme, Ephesus, Bergama, Kemeraltı and Agora will be organized. 500 guests are expected to attend the congress from different countries of the world, from Australia to Peru. Before and after the congress, special UNESCO route closed tours, including religious tourism, will be organized for the participants.


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